Lorrie Moore's You Re Ugly Too

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Manic, Depressive Superiority on a Quest for Perfection Lorrie Moore’s character, Zoe Hendricks, in “You’re Ugly, Too,” is an outsider drowning in irony from a supposed perfect world she has built for herself. Her cynical, yet humorous outlook on her self-isolated life, is a result of her rose-tinted view of her inability to find intimacy or satisfaction in her life. In an otherwise depressing story about a mid-western history professor going through the middle-aged motions, Zoe Hendricks’ wry social skills and pessimistic commentary attests her to be anything but middling. The expectation of perfection in herself and others, immortalizes Zoe’s dismissive demeanor, melancholy, and irreverent humor. No matter how significantly Zoe attempts to help herself, she is unable to find true satisfaction in her career, love life, or location. Her ties with the world are strung together by sarcasm, superiority, and an overwhelming feeling of longing. As a cultured, independent, liberal thinking, career woman, Zoe’s advance intellectual background offers a platform that stands above anyone who is content with mediocrity. Anyone who attempts to stand on the platform alongside her opinions and wit is fended off with insolent jokes and a disregard for any topic of intimacy. In reality, Zoe interacts with others the way she does because, “…jokes help to starve off uncomfortable or revealing conversation, but they…show more content…
“You’re Ugly, Too.” The New Yorker, 1990. Chodart, Robert. “Jokes, Fiction, and More.” Twentieth Century Literature; Durham, vol. 52, no. 1, 2006 Accessed 9 Feb. 2018. Weekes, Karen. “Lorrie Moore Collection Words Are All You Need: Speech Acts in Lorrie Moore's Anagrams.” Journal of American Studies; Cambridge, vol. 46, no. 3, Aug. 2012, pp. 551-563, Accessed 9 Feb.
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